Rat vs. Mouse: How to Tell the Difference

Rat vs. Mouse: How to Tell the Difference

You’ve heard the scuttling, seen the gnaw marks- you know you’ve got a rodent on the loose. Rat? Mouse? Who cares, you think! To you, a pest is a pest, and you just want it gone. But knowing the difference between a mouse and a rat, and identifying the which type you’ve got is the first important step in rodent control.

The tactic and approach used to exterminate a mouse will be different than those taken to exterminate a rat. Besides having physical differences, mice and rats have different behaviors, food preferences, and personalities. When you understand the differences you’ll have a better shot at successful rodent control. Green Rat Control are you local experts; you can contact them at https://greenratcontrol.com/contact-us/ with any questions.

Rat vs. Mouse: Personality Traits

A crucial difference between a rat and a mouse is that a rat is predisposed towards caution, whereas a mouse is naturally more curious.

  • Mice are not shy about exploring their surroundings and checking out new things. A mouse would find a shiny trap, set out in its territory, intriguing and attractive. But if the trap has set there a few days, its old news. Try moving it somewhere new to recapture a mouse’s attention.
  • Rats, on the other hand, are much more careful  and predictable creatures. They have cautiously plotted paths and will not branch out to new areas that they are not familiar with. They will be wary of traps and avoid them. For this reason, you should first put out unset traps. Let the rat get accustomed to their presence, then put out set traps to catch the creature!

Image of a small rat over a white background


Food Preferences

  • Rats need liquids daily. If they don’t get enough from their food source, they’ll have to seek out water.
  • Rats are notorious for being dumpster divers when it comes to food, but they prefer fresh grains or meat.
  • A rat can and will climb to obtain food.

Habits & Lifestyle

  • Rats are excellent diggers. They are known to burrow under buildings and fences.
  • The average lifespan of a rat is 1- 1 ½ years.
  • Rats crave warm spaces, which is why they are attracted to your attic.
  • Although larger than mice, rats can maneuver easily throughout your living space. They can enter through a hole that is only ½ inch in diameter!
  • Rats are proficient swimmers and can even enter spaces by way of drains or sewers.
  • Rats normally stay close to their nest, within 300 ft.
  • Signs of rat inhabitants: burrows, gnawing, tracks, runways, droppings.

Rat Facts

  • Rats are similar to mice in that they are nocturnal and have poor eyesight. However, they have a keen sense of smell, taste and sound.
  • Physically, rats are larger than mice, with coarser fur and noticeably bigger heads and feet.
  • The most common residential rat species are the Norway rat, which inhabits low living spaces, and the roof rat which thrives in upper attic spaces.

See https://greenratcontrol.com/rodent-control/rat-control-rodent-removal/ for more about rats and rat etermination.

An image of a mouse sitting on a hard wood floor


Food Preferences

  • Mice strategically build nests discreetly near their food source, using shreds of paper or soft material.
  • Plants and cereal are favorite foods for mice.

Habits & Lifestyle

  • Mice live approximately 9-12 months.
  • A female mouse can produce up to 60 babies a year- and those 60 can begin to reproduce after just 6 short weeks!
  • Mice are fantastic climbers- they can even climb vertically! They can also jump up to 13 inches high and run very quickly.
  • Mice can chew through electrical wiring systems, which can lead to an electrical fire!
  • A ¼ inch of a hole is all a mouse needs to slip inside!

Mice Facts

  • Mice are actually color blind, but their other senses are heightened.
  • Mice have a distinctly musky odor.
  • Eek! Mice are afraid of rats- for good reason, rats can eat mice!
  • Signs of mice inhabitants: gnawing, droppings and tracks.

Visit https://greenratcontrol.com/rodent-control/mice-control-rat-removal/ for more information on mice and mice removal.

Now that you know the fundamental differences between rats and mice, you and your team of rodent control professionals can tackle the problem from the right angle and eliminate the rodents!

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